Presented on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 in the Barn at Quarry Farm. Mark Twain was entranced by his Hartford friend Joe Twichell's stories of his experiences in the Civil War, where the minister-to-be was chaplain to a rough New York City regiment, and the author was quite happy to steal them. Steve Courtney, who with Peter Messent has edited the just-published Civil War Letters of Joseph Hopkins Twichell: A Chaplain's Story, will speak on Twichell's war-time experiences and their uses in Mark Twain's work. Mr. Courtney will read excerpts from the letters, which include vivid and eloquent descriptions of battles and their aftermath; hospital scenes; the politics of the era; first hand accounts of Lincoln; and other moving depictions.
Steve Courtney has been a journalist for more than thirty years, and was a writer and editor for the Hartford Courant for more than twenty. He now works at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford as a publicist and guide. He is the author of Joseph Hopkins Twichell: The Life and Times of Mark Twain's Closest Friend (2008), "The Loveliest Home There Ever Was": The Story of Mark Twain's Home in Hartford (2011), and Mark Twain's Hartford (2016). He is co-editor of The Civil War Letters of Joseph Hopkins Twichell: A Chaplain's Story (2006) and The Letters of Mark Twain and Joseph Hopkins Twichell (2017).